Milly had a little lamb and ittook first prize

THE hunt for Australia’s finest food produce is over, with a small business in the state’s northern tablelands satisfying the taste buds of judges with its premium quality lamb to win the country’s highest produce accolade.

Milly Hill Lamb, of Armidale, was awarded the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW’s prestigious President’s Medal for its grass-fed lamb at a celebratory dinner last night where guests were treated to a contemporary menu inspired by the products of the competition’s six finalists.

Peter Strelitz, who established Milly Hill Lamb with his wife Sally in 2008, said they were very excited to win the award despite being a small company in such a large industry.

”We’re just persistent and keep our quality up there and right. We’re just absolutely pumped and stoked about it,” Mr Strelitz said.

He said maintaining the standard of their product has always been of utmost importance to them.

”I had a mentor basically when we started and he said, ‘quality will sell itself’, and that’s probably the biggest thing that I’ve always had in the back of my mind … If we didn’t have the quality we wouldn’t have the customers,” Mr Strelitz said.

The company started as a local home-delivered ”lamb-in-a-box” business but has grown to become a direct supplier to restaurants and butchers across Australia’s eastern seaboard.

It won its first award in 2009 when it was named Rabo Bank Queensland sheep producer of the year before going on to become the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Champion for grass-fed and open-class lamb last year, among other awards.

Mr Strelitz said the fact his company supplies meat to some of Sydney and Brisbane’s top restaurants is an indicator of its quality.

”We were probably serving four of them [the top restaurants] and I didn’t even realise. That’s when I sort of thought, ‘Oh well our stuff mustn’t be too bad’,” he said.

The prize includes $10,000.

-The Sydney Morning Herald

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